Healthy eating is the first step to controlling your diabetes and feeling well no matter what type of diabetes you have. A healthy, well balanced diet is as important to good diabetes control as taking medication, exercising and monitoring blood-sugar levels. The food that is healthy for diabetes is the same food that is healthy for people who don't have diabetes. Eating the right kinds of foods in the right amounts will help control weight, blood sugar, blood fats, and blood pressure. The choices are up to you. The suggestions below are a good starting point. For an individualized meal plan, work with a registered dietitian (R.D.) to design a plan that will fit your lifestyle and meet your goals.
How to Begin?
- Eat three meals a day, plus snacks if recommended by your diabetes educator or doctor. Do NOT skip planned meals or snacks.
- Eating about the same amount of food at about the same time everyday will help stabilize blood-sugar levels.
- Eat foods from all the food groups. This will help ensure the body gets all the nutrition it needs.
Changes to Make:
- Watch portion sizes. Food scales, measuring cups and spoons will help keep portions in check.
- Eat more fiber (whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables, beans, legumes) and less fat (oil, margarine, fatty meats, cheeses and snacks, fried foods, cold cuts).
- Limit sugars and sweets. Although sugars are allowed in small amounts, it is still wise to avoid foods with lots of added sugars, as these foods frequently have lots of carbohydrate and fat. If you do eat sweets, eat small portions and substitute for them in the meal plan.
- Eat fewer high sodium (salt) foods. Too much salt in the diet may aggravate high blood pressure.
- Limit fat and fatty foods. Eating too many high fat foods will make it harder to lose weight, increase your risk of heart disease and makes controlling blood sugars more difficult.